Question Gaming Computer: Should i Upgrade, Use for Parts, or Dump and old HP Pavilion (2012)????

Mar 30, 2020
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Im trying to build a gaming computer for my kids. They are currently using an old HP Pavillion which was a decent computer at the time. ITs slow and lags and I'm trying to set them up with something better on a budget.

Problem: Provide a better computer for gaming; I have an old computer and i need to achieve the most value through potential reuse, determining the most efficient new purchases to maximize performance and looks.

1. Upgrade this PC, by putting a new GPU in here, with other minor upgrades?

2. New Build by taking some internals from here, and building in a new Box?

3. Toss it, is everything better and cheaper now and this isn't worth salvaging? Where i would see no value trying to build off anything from this.

Use: Gaming, my kids play Fortnite and other multiplayer titles
Resolution: 1080p i only have a 60hz monitor but i am looking to potentially upgrade that, or look at a Gsync or freesync depending on what i do here.
Nice to have: It would be nice if i could upgrade to the base specs for VR compatibility, but its looking like choosing those upgrades would push it beyond my budget and best to eliminate that idea if its not feasible.

Computer Specs:
HP Pavilion HPE h9-1130 Phoenix
Product Page: https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c03272947

Motherboard
M3970AM-HP (Angelica)
  • Manufacturer: Gigabyte
  • Form factor: uATX - 24.4 cm (9.6 inches) x 24.4 cm (9.6 inches)
  • Chipset: AMD 970
  • Memory sockets: 4 x DDR3
  • Front side bus speeds: 4 lanes, 5GT/s per lane UMI (Unified Media Interface)
  • Processor socket: AM3-b
  • Expansion Slots:
    • 1 PCI Express x16 (Generation 2 speed)
    • 3 PCI Express x1 (Generation 2 speed)
    • 1 PCI Express mini card x1 (Generation 2 speed)
Processor
AMD FX-8120
  • TDP: 95W
  • Operating speed: 3.1 GHz (up to 4.0 GHz turbo)
  • Number of cores: 8
  • Socket: AM3+
  • Bus speed: 5.2 GT/s HT3
Memory
Amount: 8 GB
  • Speed: PC3-12800 MB/sec
  • Type: DDR3-1600
Video graphics

Radeon HD 7670
  • HDMI
  • DisplayPort
  • DVI*
* VGA using included DVI-to-VGA adapter
  • Interface: PCI Express x16
  • Maximum resolution:
    • HDMI resolution: 1920x1080 (1080p)
    • DisplayPort resolution: 2560x1600 at 60 Hz
    • DVI resolution: 2560x1600x32bpp at 60 Hz
    • VGA resolution: 2048x1536x32bpp at 60 Hz
  • 1 GB onboard memory
  • Supports Blu-ray
Graphics
  • Integrated graphics are not available on this motherboard.
  • This motherboard accommodates PCI Express x16 graphics cards.
Power Supply

Internal 600 Watt (100V-240V)
  • Form Factor: internal ATX
  • Total wattage: 600W
  • Nominal input voltage range:
    • 100-127V (50-60Hz)
    • 200-240V (50-60Hz)
  • PCI-E power connector (for high-end video cards): 2
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 140mm x 86mm (5.9 x 5.5 x 3.4 inches)
  • * This power supply has an LED to indicate a possible failure condition when LED is off and power is connected.
I would appreciate any suggestions on which direction you think would be best to proceed, also what parts selection would be best.
thank you
 
The FX series is ancient and I would honestly toss it, including that PSU. If you want to upgrade really cheaply you can probably reuse the RAM and storage, but you would be limited to Intel platforms from few years ago. What is your budget? If the games they play are roughly around fortnite and such you can get by with less.
 
Mar 30, 2020
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I thought i could get away with less if i was able to reuse some of these parts, but i would say pushing $450 to $500 I was hoping to get a monitor in that. But that might not be in the cards at the moment either.

They typically just play fortnight on the computer, because the old one didn't run well enough to do much beyond that. So i couldn't say the option to get on twitch or something with a new computer wouldn't be an appeal to them.

I was hoping to keep it VR compatible bc those are the games i like or at least leave that option open for future upgrades. But now with PS5 coming out and their new VR a year later, maybe just a functional computer to run fortnight would be ideal.

They have a set up with the PC and Playstation so they can play together in the same room, but everyone hates the PC. So i still see value in trying to get this upgraded and they can do their homework on it as well.
 

g-unit1111

Titan
Moderator
I agree with Archit, there's no reason to hang onto that system. You could save the case and put in a new B450 motherboard but even then it's not a reason to keep a system that old. By the time you do that, you could build a pretty reasonable rig with a Ryzen 3600 and an RTX 2060 or 5700XT.
 
Reactions: ArchitSahu
I thought i could get away with less if i was able to reuse some of these parts, but i would say pushing $450 to $500 I was hoping to get a monitor in that. But that might not be in the cards at the moment either.

They typically just play fortnight on the computer, because the old one didn't run well enough to do much beyond that. So i couldn't say the option to get on twitch or something with a new computer wouldn't be an appeal to them.

I was hoping to keep it VR compatible bc those are the games i like or at least leave that option open for future upgrades. But now with PS5 coming out and their new VR a year later, maybe just a functional computer to run fortnight would be ideal.

They have a set up with the PC and Playstation so they can play together in the same room, but everyone hates the PC. So i still see value in trying to get this upgraded and they can do their homework on it as well.
If you really need a $500 build with monitor, try this:
PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3200G 3.6 GHz Quad-Core Processor ($94.99 @ B&H)
Motherboard: MSI B450M PRO-M2 MAX Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($74.99 @ B&H)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($47.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Blue 500 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 1650 4 GB Phoenix OC Video Card ($149.99 @ B&H)
Case: Cougar MX330 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.95 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12III 550 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($54.99 @ B&H)
Monitor: Asus VS228T-P 21.5" 1920x1080 60 Hz Monitor ($94.00 @ B&H)
Total: $616.89
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-03-31 20:18 EDT-0400


It will be fine for fortnite, but is about $116 more than $500. You can reuse the case and storage from your original build if you really want, just make sure the case supports this motherboards form factor. The motherboard will allow for upgrades in the future, and Seasonic is a pretty good PSU.
 
Mar 30, 2020
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wow, thanks for those specs that the PC builder site is really cool, i spent a lot of time on there learning about different parts cooperate with each other. I get the impression that you may not be and could be most people are not as keen on 2nd hand parts? Or even builds? I saw a bunch of those cheap eBay gaming rigs, and it looks like they have a few good parts baked in with a lot of crappy ones.

But what about the one, where some guy is posted a stand-alone GPU for under market or something like that? Here is a cheap build i saw on a site like that, that actually looked pretty reasonable from what i have learned so far.
https://offerup.com/item/detail/771649516/

Let me know your thoughts on mixing up compatible motherboards, GPUs or other components if i can find them cheaper? That might help me slide around some cost allocations to either a processor or motherboard, or case or bring the total down
 
wow, thanks for those specs that the PC builder site is really cool, i spent a lot of time on there learning about different parts cooperate with each other. I get the impression that you may not be and could be most people are not as keen on 2nd hand parts? Or even builds? I saw a bunch of those cheap eBay gaming rigs, and it looks like they have a few good parts baked in with a lot of crappy ones.

But what about the one, where some guy is posted a stand-alone GPU for under market or something like that? Here is a cheap build i saw on a site like that, that actually looked pretty reasonable from what i have learned so far.
https://offerup.com/item/detail/771649516/

Let me know your thoughts on mixing up compatible motherboards, GPUs or other components if i can find them cheaper? That might help me slide around some cost allocations to either a processor or motherboard, or case or bring the total down
EDIT: I can not access the link you shared due to some protective service they are running.

I do not usually refer to 2nd hand sites because I do not know the poster's locality and country. I am in a different country, and if I had to provide a budget build for someone here I definitely would check 2nd hand markets because I would know where to look and who are the best and worst sellers. For other countries, I do not know this information so I stick to 1st hand markets.

You can mix components as long as you know they are of the same chipset. But it also has to make sense; for example, there is no use putting a locked processor like a 9400 on an unlocked mobo like a z390. For Ryzen this would not matter too much because they can all be OC'ed to an extent but some matches are better than others. Drop a part list here and we can definitely help you out with your parts.
 
Mar 30, 2020
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Yeah i was learning about a lot of that last night, where you can have bottlenecks between your CPU & GPU if you aren't buying for similar levels of quality. I think i got the idea of what matches up with the AMD to and the Nvidias back to either the Intel or AMD CPUs. Also, i would have to match the Motherboard with the CPU.

I haven't gotten all the way through build specs yet, because i keep seeing things i like and explode my budget like Lian Li cases.

Ill post what i come up with.
 

DSzymborski

Champion
Moderator
wow, thanks for those specs that the PC builder site is really cool, i spent a lot of time on there learning about different parts cooperate with each other. I get the impression that you may not be and could be most people are not as keen on 2nd hand parts? Or even builds? I saw a bunch of those cheap eBay gaming rigs, and it looks like they have a few good parts baked in with a lot of crappy ones.
It always depends. Second-hand used builds have a high-percentage of crap because to be perfectly honest, the world is full of people who do poor research and either just throw together a list of parts or stuff good parts into a prebuilt that cuts corners on things like PSU or motherboard. And when it comes down to it, people are more likely to sell a PC they're unhappy with than one they like!

There's nothing wrong with secondhand parts, but you do need to get enough of a discount on the price to factor in the risk you're taking on. In a real sense, used parts aren't actually cheaper; unless you get a great deal you're simply paying extra in risk instead of hard currency. It's not like buying an almost-new car, in which case you're almost always covered by the same manufacturer's warranty.
 
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